Baldwin police chief airs grievances

Five reserve officers were approved by the Baldwin Board of Aldermen Thursday to begin relief duty with the Baldwin Police Department.
Following the approval of the reserve officers, Baldwin Police Chief Harry Smith addressed the mayor and board, imploring their help with department budget and staffing woes.
“All I can do is the best I can do,” Smith said. “When you don’t have funds to run a police department, it is hard; and it has taken its toll on me.”
According to Smith, the police department’s current operating budget, $250,000 per year, is already stretched too thin to hire another full-time officer. Even though that is what he says he needs to do.
Baldwin Mayor Abel “Phil” Prejean expressed that the city was not in a position to amend the budget at Thursday night’s meeting, but offered to work with Smith in upcoming days and weeks to figure out how to cover for the department’s two senior officers who will be out on medical leave.
It was further resolved by the board to look into options at the town’s upcoming budget workshop, for possibly expanding the police department’s budget.

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